The Kremlin has a special goal: ISW explains why Putin only briefly mentioned the war against Ukraine in his New Year's address
The head of the aggressor state of Russia, Vladimir Putin, used his annual New Year's address on December 31 to specify Russia's ideological priorities for 2024. He omitted any mention of the war against Ukraine, but focused on defining ideological goals that will ultimately still influence the fighting and the situation in the occupied territories.
This was pointed out by analysts at the Institute for the Study of War ( ISW). It should be reminded that this time the dictator also did not use soldiers as a New Year's background for his speech.
Thus, in an address on the eve of 2023, the Kremlin leader addressed Russians from the headquarters of the Southern Military District, surrounded by soldiers in pixelated uniforms, and spoke openly about Russia's goals in Ukraine. In contrast, on the eve of 2024, Putin stood alone in front of the Kremlin and did not mention his "SVO".
Instead, he decided to very briefly thank the Russian military for fighting for "truth and justice" and otherwise focused on emphasizing Russian national unity. He also declared that 2024 will be the "Year of the Family" in Russia, emphasizing that the Russian family is "the backbone of the multinational people of Russia" and that Russia itself is "one big country and family."
Analysts pointed out that in the last weeks of 2023, the Russian dictator often discussed Moscow's maximalist intentions for a war against Ukraine. They believe that in this way he sought to establish a more domestic-oriented ideological environment during his New Year's speech.
It is noted that it further served to clearly define the Kremlin's ideological line for 2024, focusing domestic policy on preserving "traditional Russian family values" and "protecting Russian multinationalism," which fit into Putin's broader ideology of the "Russian world," which includes groups inside and outside Russia.
According to ISW, Putin is attempting to re-establish the concept of the "Russian world" as the basis of Russian domestic and foreign policy, and his New Year's address described families and the multinationalism of Russian society as the "pillars" of this particularized "world."
"The Kremlin's perceptions of the 'Russian world' will undoubtedly affect Russia's administrative, bureaucratic and socio-cultural priorities in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, as well as military objectives on the battlefield next year," the ISW concluded.
As OBOZ.UA reported earlier, analysts explained how the Kremlin continues to present the war against Ukraine as a "justified imperial conquest." In particular, Russia is not interested in negotiating in good faith, but instead wants to achieve Putin's maximalist goals.